First off I'm a security system newbie, but I've done a little reading.
I purchased a HIKvision 8016HFI. It's a 16 channel system which records 30fps (per channel) at 4CIF and is setup with 8TB of storage. There are 15 cameras all are 520TVL with Sony CCD's and connected with RG6 siamese cable. Cable lengths range from 50 to 400 feet.
My next step in the installation is to connect a PC as an image server so I can use the DVR software and graphical interface controls.
Currently the system is connected directly to an LCD monitor (I've tried two different monitors) and is recording at maximum resolution at 15fps.
PROBLEM: The problem is the image quality seems to be a bit fuzzy and is not sharp and clear. This is the case on all channels.
4CIF is only 704x480 resolution, so it's not going to be huge to begin with.
1) Could the image quality be less than sharp because I'm using the VGA connection directly from the DVR?
Possible, if your display resolution is less than the native resolution of the LCD. What size/model of LCD is it? How do the interface graphics (on-screen text, controls, etc.) look? Fuzzy as well?
2) When I get the LAN connection between the DVR and the computer up and running with the computer output connected to the monitor via a DVI connection to the monitor, should the image quality improve?
The overall image MIGHT, depending on display settings; that won't affect the video from the cameras, however.
You might check the compression settings on your DVR - the higher the compression, the more artifacts and the lower the video quality.